Eric and Wendy Schmidt Announce Schmidt Science Fellows Fifth Cohort

June 9, 2022

29 new Fellows will tackle global challenges by harnessing interdisciplinary science

Marking the 5th year, overall Fellowship numbers reach over 100 members from 30 nationalities

Boston, MA, June 9, 2022 – Today, Eric and Wendy Schmidt announced the 2022 cohort of Schmidt Science Fellows. The 29 new Fellows are a group of exceptional early-career scientists from around the world, each committed to transcending disciplines to advance discovery and driving innovation that improves the quality of life for all.

Schmidt Science Fellows is the inaugural Program of Schmidt Futures, the philanthropic initiative of Eric and Wendy Schmidt. Now marking its fifth anniversary, Schmidt Science Fellows exemplifies Schmidt Futures’ mission by bringing the brightest minds together to solve society’s toughest challenges and now has 113 active and alumni Fellows representing 30 nationalities of origin. Fellows from the first cohorts are already pursuing faculty roles in renowned universities, leading start-up companies, and influencing policy. 

Schmidt Science Fellows, delivered in partnership with the Rhodes Trust, envisions a world where interdisciplinary science can flourish and accelerate discoveries that tackle major challenges and have a positive impact on the world. Each Fellow is supported for one to two years with up to $200,000 in stipend, individualized mentoring, and a series of professional development sessions around the world, to pursue research at a disciplinary pivot to their PhD and maximize their potential as future scientific leaders. Among the 2022 Fellows are scientists aiming to develop new therapies to treat cancer and heart disease, scale-up sustainable fuel production, restore vision for blind people, protect endangered species, generate new approaches for clean water and energy, and more. 

Eric Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Futures and former CEO and Chairman of Google, said: “Our latest group of Schmidt Science Fellows embodies our vision for this Program at its inception five years ago. We find the most talented next-generation leaders from around the world and back these impressive young adults with the resources and networks they need to realize their full potential while addressing some of the big scientific questions facing the world. Congratulations to the 2022 Schmidt Science Fellows, I am excited to see where your science takes you and what you will achieve.”

“In the first five years of this Program, Fellows have combined biology and computer science to revolutionize drug discovery. They’ve introduced AI to biomedical engineering to bring cancer screening to underserved communities. And they’re working across optics, atomic physics, astrophysics, ocean science and more to identify new ways to reverse climate destruction,” said Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Futures and president of The Schmidt Family Foundation. “This new cohort will join a growing network of interdisciplinary scientists and researchers engaging in critically important work that goes beyond any project they may undertake individually.”

Dr. Megan Kenna, Executive Director of Schmidt Science Fellows, said: “We need scientists to have the freedom to take risks with their science, to be ambitious without fear of the consequences of failure, and to draw on whatever discipline they need for the problem at hand. The clock is ticking on the world’s big challenges, and we need science to play its part in finding solutions. I am proud to welcome our 2022 Schmidt Science Fellows into a community of scientists and supporters who come together to harness the power of interdisciplinary science for the benefit of the world.”

The 2022 cohort of Schmidt Science Fellows comes from 23 of the world’s leading science and engineering institutions. The cohort is 15 women and 14 men and represents 12 nationalities, including the Program’s first Fellows from Ireland and South Africa. 

The 2022 Fellows, announced today:

  • Juncal Arbelaiz – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Emmanuela Bonglack – Duke University
  • Maria Lastra Cagigas – University of New South Wales Sydney
  • Xiangkun Cao – Cornell University
  • Paul Chen – University of Toronto
  • Mostapha Dakhchoune – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • Tiarnan Doherty – University of Cambridge
  • Kara Fong – University of California, Berkeley
  • Berit Goodge – Cornell University
  • Samuel Greene – Columbia University
  • Harsha Gurnani – University College London
  • Alexander Heyde – Harvard University
  • Michael Heyns – University of Cape Town
  • Natsumi Komatsu – Rice University
  • Caitlin Maikawa – Stanford University
  • Naomi Arita Merino – Wageningen University & Research
  • Elise Needham – University of Sydney
  • Kevin Ng – The Francis Crick Institute
  • Ethan Perets – Yale University
  • Elizabeth Phillips – University of Toronto
  • Jason Qian – Harvard University
  • Hannah Rana – University of Oxford
  • Tim Sainburg – University of California, San Diego
  • Sandya Subramanian – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Anthony Waddle – University of Melbourne
  • Mingyi Wang – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Christine Wilkinson – University of California, Berkeley
  • Kevin Zhou – Duke University
  • Hannah Zlotnick – University of Pennsylvania

More details on each 2022 Fellow, including their research interests and their interdisciplinary science ambitions, can be found here.

Schmidt Science Fellows are supported for at least one and up to two years with a USD $100,000 per year stipend to pursue their interdisciplinary science at the best possible lab for their project in the world. Each cohort participates in the Program’s Global Meeting Series, which provides tailored training, introductions to new concepts, visits to leading interdisciplinary scientific centers, and opportunities to engage with renowned thought-leaders from science, business, policy, and society. Once selected, every Fellow becomes a member of a lifelong community of interdisciplinary leaders who can affect real and innovative change in the world.


About Schmidt Science Fellows

Schmidt Science Fellows is an initiative of Schmidt Futures, delivered in partnership with the Rhodes Trust. The Schmidt Science Fellows Program helps scientists solve bigger problems faster by identifying, developing, and amplifying the next generation of science leaders, building a community of scientists and supporters of interdisciplinary science, and leveraging this network to drive sector-wide change.

Each year, the Schmidt Science Fellows work in partnership with around 100 of the world’s leading science and engineering institutions to identify the best, brightest, and highest potential candidates to join the Fellowship. Nominated candidates then apply to the Program before a rigorous selection process that includes a paper-based academic review with panels of experts in their home disciplines, and final interviews with panels, including senior representatives from across many scientific disciplines and different business sectors.

About Schmidt Futures

Schmidt Futures bets early on exceptional people making the world better. Founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative that brings talented people together in networks to prove out their ideas and solve hard problems in science and society. To learn more about our method and the diverse types of capital and tools that we deploy, visit